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Funeral director accused in lawsuit

Allegedly took client list from past employer

WARREN — A funeral director is accused in a civil lawsuit of plotting to retain clients from another funeral home where he previously worked for 21 years.

Attorneys for Sinchak and Sons Funeral Home, 727 E. Market St., Warren, recently filed the suit in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court against funeral director Justin R. Kaszowski of Warren and his new employer Staton Borowski Funeral Home, 962 North Road NE, Warren.

The case was assigned to Judge Ronald J. Rice. A response to the complaint has not yet been filed, and no hearing dates are set, court records show.

The complaint alleges Kaszowski used Sinchak’s client list to send letters, on Staton Borowski letterhead, resulting in “substantial financial losses in excess of $25,000” to the Sinchak business. Ohio law codes the client list as a trade secret, which is protected by state law as privileged information, the complaint argues.

“There is no basis for the lawsuit, it is without merit. Our attorneys are working on it. There is no basis for suit,” said Staton Borowski funeral Director Bryan Borowski.

Borowski said Kaszowski was not working for his funeral home at the time the letters were sent, and he believes the funeral home’s attorneys will have no problem showing the funeral home did nothing wrong.

“I think it will come out in our favor,” Borowski said.

Borowski described Kaszowski as a “great” employee.

The complaint states, however, “The fact of the timing of his employment is immaterial to this case because the manner in which Staton Borowski Funeral Home acted after becoming aware of his actions. Staton Borowski retained the employment of Justin R. Kaszowski, thereby continuing to receive the material benefits of his actions.”

The suit includes two letters that appear to have been sent in October from Kaszowski to two men who were clients of the Sinchak and Sons Funeral Home.

“It was my pleasure and honor to serve you when making you pre-planned funeral arrangements or previous experience in serving you and your family with funeral arrangements for a loved one … I will be happy to walk you through the cost-free, quick and easy process in transferring your pre-planning or pre-paid funeral or insurance assignment to my new location,” the letter states.

The letter mentions the Sinchak and Sons Funeral Home is being acquired by another funeral home and plugs the amenities of the Staton Borowski Funeral Home.

The suit also charges Kaszowski with defamation for making “statements to clients of Sinchak and Sons Funeral Home that the Sinchaks were selling and would have no involvement in the funeral home moving forward. Mr. Sinchak has informed many of his clients that he intends to stay on at the home, no matter what … The statement implies that the new ownership would result in less caring and compassionate service to both clients who had purchased pre-paid funeral plans and to the families of those who had previously entrusted the care of their loved ones to Sinchak and Sons Funeral Home,” the complaint states.

rfox@tribtoday.com

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